One million more reasons to support the Linen Hall Library
Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has welcomed news that the Linen Hall Library in Belfast is to receive a £1million award from the Heritage Lottery Fund's Catalyst Endowments programme.
~ Wednesday, 20 June 2012
The Minister said, “The Linen Hall Library is one of Belfast’s best-known and most-loved cultural assets. I am very pleased that the board and management of the library are working closely with others to secure its position in the future. The Heritage Lottery Fund aims to give people a better opportunity to experience, enjoy, care for and protect our heritage and I believe this award will help the Linen Hall Library achieve that.
The Minister continued: “This award is the fruition of a genuine partnership between the Library and the Heritage Lottery Fund. I believe it is through partnerships like this that our cultural assets will be secured and developed for the benefit of people here. The Linen Hall Library has grasped this opportunity, however there is a lot more to do. I am especially eager to see new initiatives from the Linen Hall Library which develops partnerships that really increase access to the library itself and all of the collections and assets that it holds in perpetuity for the benefit of everyone here.
The Minister concluded, “As the Linen Hall Library asks local businesses and members of the public to support its fundraising efforts I want these new relationships with donors to also be genuine partnerships. I firmly believe that the people and organisations prepared to invest in the future of the Linen Hall Library are also the people and organisations who should help to shape it.”
Paul Mullan, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund (NI) said: “The Linen Hall Library has been at the heart of Belfast and Northern Ireland’s cultural life for nearly 225 years. It is a magnificent organisation who HLF is delighted to have supported over the years. This additional support through our Catalyst programme will help the Library to develop the strength and confidence to plan for a future that will ensure its pre-eminent position not just for Northern Ireland but also internationally. This award is both a reward for what the library has achieved over the centuries and a challenge, a challenge that now tasks them with matching HLF’s £1million to secure the full benefits of the award.”
George Priestley, Chairman of the Linen Hall Library said: “The really hard work is just beginning if we are to reap the rewards of the Scheme and build a two million pound Endowment Fund that will safe guard the future of the Linen Hall. The timing of this announcement could not have been more appropriate as we approach our 225th Birthday in May of next year, we can now look forward to our 250th birthday in the knowledge that we will have financial security. It is now up to our members and the public to show their support for the Library so that we can match the Government £1 for £1
Notes to editors
- The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) was set up in 1994 to distribute money raised by the National Lottery.
- “Catalyst: Endowments” is a £30million investment in a match-funding initiative for the creation of endowments to support heritage from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
- The Belfast Library and Society for Promoting Knowledge was established in 1788 as an independent subscription library. It is more usually know as The Linen Hall Library, as it was once located in the former White Linen Hall. It is the oldest library in Belfast, founded in 1788, and the last surviving subscription library in Ireland. The Library is an independent charitable body.
- The Library’s mission is to increase knowledge and understanding, both locally and internationally, by collecting, curating, and providing access to an historic library and cultural centre with unique strengths in Irish and local studies.
- The LHL business model is based partly on membership/ donation income (c£174k), commercial income (c£295k) and public funding (c£388k). DCAL is the main public funder. It provides grant funding to the Library in return for public access to the Irish and Reference collections. DCAL provided £313k in 2010/11 representing around 32% of the Library’s total expenditure budget.
- Media enquiries should be addressed to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure Press Office by telephoning (028) 9051 5047 or e-mailing: DCAL Press Office For out of office hours queries please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.